BBQ Ratatouille

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About: I'm a mechanical engineer in the Eindhoven region. In my spare time I like to make random stuff, both usefull and especially useless.

I love being outside during the summer. So naturally I prefer to cook outside on my BBQ instead off in the kitchen inside. Most recipes however, are made for cooking with a stove and oven. Normally this would not be a problem to convert to a BBQ recipe. A BBQ with lid can act as both. However, a meal from the BBQ should also have the BBQ feel to it. Smokey flavors and a little sweeter.

That’s why I tried to convert my ratatouille recipe to something more suitable for the BBQ. Adding a bit of smoke flavor by using Tabasco Smoked Chipotle and adding a little bit of sugar for some extra sweetness. The main dish is made in my Weber GBS (Gourmet BBQ System) wok. Since not everyone will have this or something similar, I have added a second grill method in this Instructable so everyone is able to make this.

Now have fun cooking and have a nice meal.

Step 1: Ratatouille: What Is It and Why Is This It?

Ratatouille is a French dish, consisting of stewed vegetables. Besides the vegetables used in this recipe, one can often find garlic and a variety of herbes de Provence in it. In particular, this ratatouille is made to look like the ratatouille in the animated movie ratatouille, which in fact is called confit byaldi. However, ratatouille used roughly cut vegetables, where confit byaldi uses finely sliced vegetables. The wok version of this recipe is somewhere in between.

For normal ratatouille you start by sautéing the onions (and garlic) and once they are browned you add the other vegetables except the tomato. The idea is to fry the vegetables without much oil but at a high heat. This is because the vegetables act like a sponge, so they would take in all the oil and therefore not able to take in the flavors in the next step of the dish. Once the vegetables are browned, the other ingredients can be added. At this point the vegetables start to take in all the flavors including the sweetness of the tomatoes. Once the dish is finished all the flavors are nicely combined.

So is this still ratatouille? I believe so. Let’s start with the wok version. The vegetables are not course, but also not finely sliced. Once on the barbecue they are fried and start taking in all the flavors from the beginning. Due to the slow cooking of the dish it is a real barbecue stew. For the grilled version it’s a little different, it’s definitely not a stew. But the onions are sautéed and the vegetables are ‘fried’ on the bbq. Once on your plate, the vegetables take in some of the flavor of the tomato and caramelized onion. So in that sense it has all parts a good ratatouille needs.

Step 2: Ingredients

Ingredients for four:

  • 1x Eggplant
  • 1x Zucchini
  • 2x Onion (large)
  • 2x Bell Pepper (yellow/orange, combines nice with the other colors)
  • Can of peeled tomatoes
  • Tabasco Smoked Chipotle (whatever you like, you can always add more after it has been served. I use at least 20 drops for this recipe.)
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped thyme
  • Optional: 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • (Oil/Butter)

Tools:

  • Kitchen knife
  • Cutting board

Extra tools wok version:

  • Wok/Dutch oven or similar suitable for the BBQ
  • Lid or aluminium foil

Extra tools grilled version:

  • Skewers
  • 2 disposable aluminium baking trays (mine were just big enough for the onions)

Step 3: Prepare Vegetables

Wok version:

  • Cut eggplant, zucchini, onions in 0.5-1.0 cm slices.
  • Cut the bell peppers in pieces approximately the size of the other vegetables. Try to get them as flat as possible.
  • Mix the tomatoes, (sugar,) most of the tabasco and thyme.

Grilled version:

  • Cut eggplant, zucchini in 1.5-2.0 cm slices.
  • Cut the bell peppers in pieces approximately the size of the other vegetables.
  • Cut the onions in 0.5 cm slices and make them into (half) rings.
  • Mix the tomatoes, sugar, most of the tabasco and thyme.

Step 4: Prepare Dish for the BBQ

Wok version:

  • Create a ring of vegetables using the vegetable slices in the wok. Try to alternate between the different vegetables.
  • Cut the remainder of the slices which don't fit in your ring in small pieces and add them in the middle of the ring.
  • Add the tomatoes on top of the vegetables in the ring.
  • Drizzle the remaining Tabasco across the ring.

Grilled version:

  • Make skewers with 1 x eggplant, 1 x zucchini and 2 x bell peper.
  • Add tomatoes to disposable tray(s).
  • Add onions with some oil/butter to a second disposable tray(s).


Fire up the barbecue!!

Step 5: Cook and Enjoy

Wok version:

The dish will take about 45-60 minutes on a medium indirect heat, 150°C/300°F, with BBQ lid close. A couple of times during the cooking I like to poor some tomato mixture on top of the vegetable ring so the eggplant takes some of the flavor. (I actually forgot it this time because I was working on some other projects at the same time)

When the tomato mixture starts getting a little dry, you can add water. You can also prevent drying by placing a lid on your wok.

Serve the vegetables with tomato sauce over it.

Grilled version:

Place the skewers and both trays on the grill. The vegetables should be grilled on both sides. The tomato mixture only has to be heated. The onions should be fried until looking a little bit shiny and browned.

Serve the vegetables next to the disposable trays.

Tip:

Leftover? No worries, ratatouille improves when stored in the fridge over night.

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    12 Discussions

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    offseid

    4 months ago

    Beautiful, tasty and healthy. Nice one!

    1 reply
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    Olga

    5 months ago

    Eventhough it is not the French ratatouille, it is great to make some changes... it helps to discover new flavors - and new ways of cooking it !!! Congratulations as it looks good and thank you for your answers and other comments......

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    Olga

    5 months ago

    Ratatouille with sugar ?????? This is a French dish and we do not put any sugar in it.... Don't you think that there is enough sugar in nearly everything... Do not put sugar, butter... but instead, use olive oil, garlic (finely chopped), herbes de Provence (this is a mix of thyme, oregano, marjoram, sariette, basilic, rosemary). Try it, you will taste something completely different...

    3 replies
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    meanblackbikeOlga

    Reply 5 months ago

    Totally agree no sugar in anything with the tomatoes or any dishes also.

    However if you find the tomatoes too acidic - just let them rest for some hours in a room temperature or even better on direct sunlight they will become sweet and tasty and no need for improvement (even no salt is needed). Don't hold them in the fridge for long.

    And here is some Mediterranean help for the dish:

    Oregano thyme and marjoram are in the same family like the Mint and Spearmint so you could you them too, also Savory. Personally I don't like the rosemary and basil .

    Also perhaps some of the french cuisine would not accept it as ratatouille if not prepared on a pan.

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    ruudcreatesmeanblackbike

    Reply 5 months ago

    For the both of you I've added an extra step in the beginning of the Instructable.: 'Ratatouille: what is it and why is this is?'. It's about ratatouille and what makes ratatouille ratatouille, why ratatouille is made how it is often made and lastly it is about why I think this (both the wok and grilled version) is a ratatouille recipe. Hope you agree a bit on my perspective :)

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    ruudcreatesOlga

    Reply 5 months ago

    I actually got this comment from multiple people before and I'm quite aware that no sugar should be used. In my normal dish I don't put sugar in it, I believe the vegetables have enough sweetness from themselves. And yes, I've added herbes de Provence before, but for ratatouille I like to keep it to thyme since a while (please don't ask me why, can't remember, guess I'll have to do it again). But I like the addition of garlic you mention, haven't done that yet, I'll have to try that in the future.

    But to justify my crimes against French Quisine ( :D ), bbq-flavors tend to be a little smokey, sometimes spicy and sweet (normally due to caramelization). That's why I've added the smokey tabasco. In order to compensate for the spicyness (for friends who didn't like it too spicy) I've added a little extra sugar. When I did that, I liked it and kept it in this BBQ recipe. Perhaps I'm removing it again in the future and change it for some garlic.

    ( PS: Changed it to optional in the ingredients list )

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    ruudcreatesPenolopy Bulnick

    Reply 5 months ago

    You could say that. I often make this with guests. It's nice for vegetables from the bbq besides all the meat and it just looks awesome to present.

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    craftsfanatic123

    5 months ago

    this looks so good! i love ratatouille.

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    ruudcreatesWATenBrink

    Reply 5 months ago

    I'm sorry to disappoint. But I'm convinced that a good rat sateh on the side would be a great addition to this (I often make chicken sateh with this dish).